Not slept much the last few nights, what with storms, poor drift direction and the boat being beaten by waves, so I was pretty tired before I started. Made my coffee and set up on deck. It was very lumpy had trouble withe the bucket. I knew a 50 was possible but thought anything more was out of reach. Mission control had set course, 225° if conditions allow up to 250° if quick. However, much as I enjoyed yesterday I have to make nearly as much south as west to get to Tony’s ITCZ coordinates. So I took the sensible option. I had set a COG last night of 240° for which I had drifted north of this by 2 miles overnight. First job was to get that back. I slowly reeled it in, took 5 hours. I couldn’t get much lower than 230°. The wind confused the swell and speed which made me stick just above. I got rained on by a squall in the dark, which was a bit cold. It’s still too warm to wear anything, even though it’s dark. Normally I’m happy to get wet as 10 minutes later you’re drying out and warming up but it takes a bit longer early in the day but I struggled on.

As lunch loomed, I started struggling to get down to 230°, the wind, which to be fair had been a bit all over the place, started to move south of east. Two big squalls came from seemingly nowhere. They have a big impact on the wind and can scupper the forecast. Stopped for lunch, only 15 minutes, low 50s still looked most likely. After lunch it all went mental, a string of big squalls, strong wind from ESE (about 105 degrees) #@!$ the boat was just hit by a massive wave as I write this. ( #@!$ I’ll explain shortly).

The wind got really strong, it was forecast 21 knots from the NE, however it was east at best and probably a bit south. I struggled on trying to get under 240° but ended the day at 242°. The good news is the stronger wind made if difficult not to fly along all afternoon. I thought I’d get to 52/54, I ended up with 59.8. I know, why not row the extra 0.2 however I ran out of time. I take my mileage at the same time as the tracker sends the signal, so it’s tough but not a 60.

It’s blowing so hard if the wind gets the boat past 240° it ends up at 300°. So to keep me under 250° I have put a light rope out the back. It helps keep you down wind, only problem is you are much slower than the water. Big waves hit the back of the boat and crash over the cabin on the deck. A second one happened 30 seconds ago. The other problem I have is that I have to have everything closed. Vent hatches the lot, meaning it’s roasting in the cabin. I’m hoping, like the forecast says, that in the next 3 / 4 hours things drop back to 18 knots.

I’m going to send this now and do messages tomorrow as I’m being thrown all over.

John

OUT